Restaurant Review: Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington, MA

You know we’re BBQ obsessed. Blue Ribbon BBQ is the grail in these parts.


This most recent trip we made really solidified something for me though – I don’t like Blue Ribbon BBQ. My initial review stands true and then some. I want to like it, but there are just so many better options in my opinion. At this point in life I feel as though I’ve had so much good BBQ to compare against, I can afford to be picky.


The decor is cool, the staff is great, and they keep their prices low – I do appreciate those things.


The sauces are all vinegar and spice based. I find all of Blue Ribbon’s food to be too spicy actually. As in, melt your tongue off so you can’t enjoy the rest of your meal. I understand Carolina style but this is too much. And I like heat!


I got ribs, pulled pork, beans, and mashed potatoes. John got burnt ends, pulled pork, corn with black eyed peas, and cole slaw. The beans and mashed potatoes were delicious. Blue Ribbons definitely gets their sides right. But the meat tasted bland, gray, underseasoned, and overcooked to me.


The sights of BBQ will always make my mouth water but for the foreseeable future I’ll be skipping Blue Ribbon and heading straight to my new favorite place, Blackstrap BBQ.


Author: Domestocrat

I'm a lady who enjoys photography, football, cooking, long drives with the windows down, This American Life, kettlecorn, hot yoga, pop punk, my nephews, my cat Reggie, and my home: Boston.

2 thoughts

  1. Always nice when you DO find a place you like! There is a BBQ place that we like that is a little upstart place about 10 minutes from the house. Of course, here in the South there’s a great BBQ place on every street corner….but this one is my favorite!

    If I want the absolute best BBQ in the whole wide world – I go to my best friends house….she and her husband are certified BBQ judges and they are one competition cook away from being MASTER BBQ judges – which I guess in the competitive cooking world is a big deal. Their BBQ is unbelievable….but they don’t cook it all the time.

    1. Oh wow, nice friends!!!!!

      There is a surprising amount of good BBQ here in MA but nothing rivals St. Louis, Kansas City, or Raleigh…so far that I’ve found anyway!

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